Is the Price Right?

David Price has struggled at times this season, but still owns a 3.63 ERA and a 10.29 K/BB ratio. (USA TODAY Sports)

David Price has struggled at times this season, but still owns a 3.63 ERA and a 10.29 K/BB ratio. (USA TODAY Sports)

The Tampa Bay Rays’ David Price is likely on the move by the trade deadline, regardless of how little he’d like to discuss that in the weeks ahead. As the best commodity on the starting pitching market (with Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee likely slotting in behind him, despite injury concerns), he’s bound to attract a wide range of suitors. Here are some of the more interesting conceivable landing spots.

Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers certainly have the need for Price in their rotation, but a couple of factors conspire to make any Price-to-Milwaukee deal difficult. First, the Brewers are already fielding their most expensive team ever, with their payroll breaking $100 million for the first time in franchise history this year, making it unclear whether or not there’s room left in the budget for the team to absorb the rest of Price’s $14 million salary this year. Second, the Brewers don’t actually have much of anything to trade the Rays in return. The best prospects in the system were all just taken in this year’s June draft and can’t yet be traded, and the best one outside of them is Jimmy Nelson, who scouts still see as having a middle-of-the-rotation ceiling and a likely future in the bullpen. The Brewers might be able to make a quantity-over-quality package for Price, but the Rays have never been ones to go for deals like that, especially not when they hold the commanding position in the market.

Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have the kind of player the Rays want back in outfielder Joc Pederson. Even if he is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury, the Dodgers have nowhere to play Pederson everyday at the majors right now, and Los Angeles would likely have little problem absorbing the rest of Price’s salary. But the Dodgers don’t precisely need David Price, considering how well Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett and Hyun-Jin Ryu have pitched this year. Price would immediately become the No. 4 (maybe No. 3) pitcher on that staff, and while it would turn the Dodgers rotation into something out of a videogame, it might not be the best use of the Dodgers’ trade assets.

Kansas City Royals. If the Royals wanted to double down on pitching and defense instead of buying bats — or in addition to buying bats, if they want to go really nuts — trading with the Rays again would probably relieve them of starting pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer and a couple of the other pieces in their minor league system. The only problem is that Zimmer is hurt at the moment, which makes him a bit of a harder sell in trade talks than Wil Myers was when Kansas City traded him and Jake Odorizzi to Tampa Bay for James Shields.

Cleveland Indians. The Indians absolutely need pitching not just to hang with Detroit and KC in the race for the Central, but for one of the two Wild Cards. They certainly have a player good enough to trade for Price in shortstop Francisco Lindor, who is projected to be a major league regular by next year. Giving up Lindor for a player who may command as much as $20 million next year in his last arbitration eligible season is a mighty big pill to swallow, however, as would giving up last year’s first-rounder Clint Frazier, and those are about the only two names worth mentioning in the system in connection with a David Price trade.

There are other teams that will be interested in acquiring pitching at the deadline as well, but three of the bigger ones — the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles — are all likely out of consideration due to playing in the same division as the Rays.

40 thoughts on “Is the Price Right?

  1. DO you get paid for these articles ?
    Have you ever completely researched your work ?

    Price wouldn’t be a 1/2 season rental as you stated .He is under the Rays (Or whomever’ s)
    control through the 2015 season…
    The LaA and the St. Louis Cards would also be in the running
    The Rays FO already stated they will NOT trade w/in the division so the NYY ,O’s and BJ’s are out of the running..

      • You’re wrong. Try reading.

        Under the Cleveland Indians scenario, “Giving up Lindor for a half-season rental is a mighty big pill to swallow, however…”

        • Instead of looking at which teams need Price, you should be looking at what TB needs. For them to give up a player of his caliber, they will want to address their biggest hole for the long term.

          I think their biggest need may be at catcher. Hanigan turns 34 this year, has always been a sub-par hitter and is only avg on defense. Molina is 39 and the third catcher is a 27 yr. old rookie.

          They SHOULD seek a great catching prospect IMO. Although they have offensive holes at almost every position, great catchers are the rarest position player with the most impact — except possibly SS. Escobar is not great but he may be good enough.

          • It is an insightful thought. While I don’t think the Braves are looking for a SP. Santana isn’t getting it done and Harang isn’t postseason savvy. It would be nice to solidify the rotation with Price, Teheran, Wood, Minor for the postseason. We have the prospects, I would strongly consider a potential trade with 4-5 man package centered around one of the Rays biggest needs, a catcher. And we have the best catching prospect in all of baseball who is major league ready and blocked by the power hitting Gattis for the next 4 years. Christian Bethancourt, that’s a good starting point. I think most General Managers have the same policy. Will listen to all offer and if the initial offer strikes some interests, then the trade talks begin. Bethancourt’s name should strike interests, it’s just how much more quality they would be asking for. But, the way he’s playing now, could limit Atlanta’s damage to just 4 players for 1. Lot of argument based on how well this particular prospect is doing right now and the projected 20 million dollar arbitration year next season.

          • Just how many organizations have a great can’t-miss all-around catcher at AA or AAA who could be a starter by 2016? How many do you think would part with him along with other prospects to get Price?

            I would love to see the Rays finally land a young can’t-miss catcher, a cornerstone for the next Rays run. I just don’t know if any organizations have such a catcher that they are willing to part with in order to get Price, this year, over the winter or next season.

    • Also the angels do not need price statistically they have the 2nd best rotation in the al so dont be a hypocrite and do your research

  2. Where the hell are Toronto in the landing spots section? TB have shown they`ll trade with ANYONE!

    • Tampa is not going to trade a division rival. It just ain’t going to happen.

  3. there are many other trade options for the Indians then just Lindor and Clint. there are plenty of other trade options for the Indians to get Price. whoever wrote that is an idiot

    • How can the Red Sox sign David Price? He is not a free agent after this year. And, when he does become a FA in 2015, the red Sox will probably be below. 500 and no longer a contender.

  4. How is St. Louis not considered a front runner? The only thing I can think of is overall salary. Price is an upgrade over every SP currently on the roster save for one in Waino. They have one of the deepest farm systems in all of baseball and could put together a very attractive package, if they chose to do so.

  5. I think STL should deal with him. If you give away Taveras it really is no problem and if you give Shelby Miller then David can easily replace Shelby. So no worries really

    • Involving what players. Then again the yankees need a third baseman or right fielder more. than a starting pitcher who looks that he might be on the downside.

    • What are the Yankees going to offer? I do believe that their system is not very deep for what the Rays would want…which is basically a MLB ready player…Don’t think that the Yanks have that.

      • No. They only have one MLB ready player in the minors. Now, he is a catcher but that’s it.

  6. The St. Louis Cardinals are really in need of Price at this time and can more than afford him and many possibilities for a trade. But as always, the Cardinal organization is normally too cheap to deal. We shall see.

  7. what about the braves? they’ve had all sorts of pitching injuries and are still hanging in there. a longshot could be the astros. they have a deep minor league system to offer picks and need an impact player for their fans. the few they still have. they also have tons of payroll room.

  8. Seattle could be a dark horse in a trade. They have young talent and they need another pitcher. Just a thought

  9. Giants have the motive : It’s an even numbered year! Cain, Huddy faltering a little, Timmy likely in for his usual big letdown/playoff resurgence in bullpen savior role,
    or they could -> Vogelsong to long.
    Giants have opportunity: Pretty incredible fan base and T.V.
    Not the $Dodgers$, but probably have a few bucks stashed around somewhere…
    Giants have the bod(ies): Catcher Susac is ready now, and S.F. has eternal arms.
    Crick, Ty Blach, and Clayton Blackburn are Ray’s kind of guys.
    Sabean has a pretty long sheet, and must be considered as a top suspect to do the deed.
    Price/Cain/MadBum/Huddy/Lincecum looks pretty decent.

  10. Yadier Molina is 31 and 32 in July. Not 39.

    Cardinals P. Miller and C. Cruz for Price.

      • He didn’t say “Yadier” He just said Molina. He was referring to the three catchers the Rays currently have. Read what he wrote. He was referring to Jose Molina.

  11. Based on the MLB 40 Man Roster, and considering the number of key injuries incurred by the entire League; it appears that it’s Hitters’ for Pitchers’ due to the Bleeders and need for Team Transfusions in every Division (AL & NL). You don’t trade David Price for even half a season to any Franchise within the AL Eastern Division – (Unless someone gives Tampa everything needed to win the East). That’s not gonna happen. Go West young man, Go West! The Rockies, if they are smart, will go all out for a David Priceless. The guy is a Great Pitcher and if anyone can throw the junk needed to keep the ball within Coors Field … It’s an AL East Beast …. Price can throw you the Sh!t in the (NL) West to baffle hitters and allow that Colorado Power to Win several games that might give the Rockies the way to make a run in the NL West. There’s enough Power and Hitting on the Team to allow the Batboy an AVG. and at least 15 Hrs. Price will bring in a piece of the puzzle that is missing … Bottom Line: Trade Jhoulys Chacin (1 Win and 6 Loses) and Corey Dickerson (LF – Hitting .305, 12 Doubles, 3 Triples, 10 Hrs. 31 RBI’s and 5 SB’s) to Tampa who needs (Power) Hitting NOW! The Rockies could absorb the David Price $ for half a Season and make their move to keep him for next Season by dropping a couple of Perianal Bleeders and/or non-producing Pitchers. Rock em’ Colorado ……. You know you need David and the Price is one that you can’t afford to pass on. Look to the Future and build a Pitching Staff that will get it done ……. Your Hitting is Great, but won’t get you to the Post Season. Wake Up Rockies and work on that Weakness – Pitching: (If you ever want to Win the Big One).

  12. I know its crazy, but I would like to see the Detroit Tigers get Price, dump Joe Nathan, and use Price as a closer for the rest of the year and their run at the playoffs. If there is Christmas in July, I would really really love that to happen.

  13. Price isn’t going anywhere. He’s not a free agent until 2016, and unless he’s on fire the second half of the season, his arbitration hand won’t be as strong this winter.

    The Rays *don’t have to trade him*! In fact, the team’s “Devil Ray”-like season, combined with young and fragile starters 2-, means that unless the brass already have 2015 pegged as a rebuilding season, they will desperately need Price if they have any hope of competing once again next season.